Chicago Cubs Thursday Headlines: Sweep not meant to be

The Cubs entered yesterday’s game in Cincinnati with a chance for a three game sweep of the Reds. Neither Jeff Samardzija nor the Cub offense were up to the task, and the Cubs fell 6-0. You know it’s been a bad game when there are only two video highlights on Cubs.com: a Nate Schierholtz double and a Starlin Castro defensive play. But back to Spellcheck, who allowed all six runs. image-Jeff-Samardzija-Chicago-Cubs

“I had good stuff out there,” Samardzija said after the 6-0 loss. “They made me work, I threw a lot of pitches in the first few innings. I attacked early, they were fouling pitches off.”

You’re wondering, like me, how someone with good stuff can give up six runs. Dale Sveum understood.

“I didn’t think it was all that bad until that last three-run homer because he gave up a couple on a couple of bloopers and a solo home run,” manager Dale Sveum said. “Other than the two home-run balls there wasn’t a lot of hard contact all day long.

“The pitch count was up early, then he got efficient the last four innings. But the foul balls. He got the ball up.”

The Reds fouled off 14 pitches in the first two innings. That contributed to the high pitch count. As he approaches 200 innings, is Jeff getting tired?

“He probably won’t admit it, but I’d go out on a limb and say there is a combination of that and mentally wore out right now,” Sveum said.

I suppose the contract situation is wearing on him even more after his last three starts.

 

The Cubs entered 2013 with a huge question mark at third base. The platoon of Donnie Murphy, Luis Valbuena and Cody Ransom has been better than we ever could have hoped for. 

“We have 28 home runs at third base this year,” manager Dale Sveum said Wednesday morning. “It’s probably top 5 in all of baseball. Industry wide there aren’t a whole lot of them out there right now. When you can platoon and get the defense and production we’ve gotten out of (Luis) Valbuena, (Cody) Ransom and (Donnie) Murphy, that’s all you can ask for.”

(snip)

“It’s not something we envisioned leaving spring training, that we’d have more production (power) at third base than first base,” Sveum said. “We also do platoon there so that is a big part of that.”

Without an heir apparent at third to fill in for 2014, we might be looking at the same platoon to start 2014. I don’t have confidence that they’ll hit another 28 home runs, but maybe they can keep the seat warm until Kris Bryant is ready.

7 thoughts on “Chicago Cubs Thursday Headlines: Sweep not meant to be

  1. Doc Blume says:

    I’m still holding out hope that Mike Olt will be able to turn things around and could be a major contributor at 3rd next year…but his stats since he joined the Cubs organization were rather horrible.

  2. juliedicaro says:

    Tim McGinnis over at Obstructed View is convinced the Cubs move Samardzija this off-season. Thoughts?

    1. Doc Blume says:

      I don’t believe they will in the off season…but I believe they will during the season next year.

    2. Raythar says:

      The way he has pitched in the second half, this would probably come across as a sell low, similar to what Castro being traded would net. I doubt they would move him, despite the cost control going forward.

  3. sloanpeterson2 says:

    If I was a team in contention this year, I would not be interested in Spellcheck either this year or next spring. If I am a team that will finish out of contention, I might trade for him this winter, and hope to get a bargain. It feels like Spellcheck is perfecting his”never my fault” line with the media, so any team interested in him now, probably just wants an arm who will eat up innings. His agent blew it not getting him signed this spring, before his disappointing year….

  4. J says:

    I think the Cubs can get more for him this offseason. Reason being, the qualifying offer/draft pick will be a huge leverage piece for whoever has Jeff at the end of the 2014 season. I personally would hate to be holding that expiring contract without the shot of a compensation draft pick, because I seriously doubt that Jeff would take the one year offer when he gets the chance at his next big money contract. Any team trading for Jeff is looking to see if he can put together a nice string of quality starts throughout the season and possibly get a crack at an extension before he hits free agency. Perhaps the Angels would be interested?

  5. sloanpeterson2 says:

    The Angels will look at pitching once Artie Moreno decides if he wants to fire his manager or his general manager. One or the other will certainly go-the Angels would love to unload some of the pitchers DiPoto got that have failed so far…

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